England’s Kevin Pietersen on Wednesday said Australia’s current team could not out-sledge Test greats Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, dismissing a sharp rise in verbal clashes during the Ashes series. Pietersen said he had faced some “pretty big verbal contests” during England’s last tour of Australia, when the legendary bowlers were still playing, but had seen nothing unusual in this year’s Tests.
Both teams have acknowledged raised temperatures during the home team’s series-levelling win in Perth, with England’s James Anderson and Matthew Prior in the thick of it along with Australia’s Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle. “There’s not really any big chirpers or big sledgers; it’s just England versus Australia. It’s an Ashes series,” said the South African-born batsman.
“Blokes get a bit of red mist occasionally. You’re allowed to do that on both teams. You’re playing for a little urn. It’s historic. It’s huge. But there’s nothing that’s been overboard.”
Australia had not won a Test since July until their 267-run win on Sunday.